Everyone was so serious in the 80s. I'm trying to figure out that horse sound in the end...recommended alternative? H.
Here's another story from a series I'm not sure why I'm writing:
Anton Chekhov on Reality TV
I read a story once about Anton Chekhov watching Top Chef. In the story, Chekhov bemoaned what was happening to the ceremony of eating. Is nothing, he asked, sacred?
But a story is a story and that’s just not Anton. Anton hardly watches TV, but not because he objects to the content. I think he told me once he found it boring, or hard to connect with. He feels like an outsider, he might have told me, like he’s missing something important.
Anton’s an eater, it’s true, but there’s little ceremony to it. He eats what’s there, when he’s ready for it. He’ll take on a hot dog as soon as a roast duck, or work a pretzel if we’re walking far.
We take walks occasionally, Chekhov and I. He likes to make up stories about the people we see on the street, and I’m humored enough to listen. He’s not a bad guy, Anton, but his stories are a kind of sand trap. The people we see, they disappear into his stories, and all I remember from the walk is Anton and the pretzel and the stories. And I’ve got no mind for stories really, that’s why I don’t say anything most of the time. I just watch the people disappear as Anton points, one after the other.
But I read that story about Anton Chekhov watching reality TV and I said to myself, that’s just not Anton. I called him then and asked him to take a walk.
“It’s late,” he said. “I’m tired.”
“Do you know the show Top Chef?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said. “What’s it about?”
“Have you ever read Anton Chekhov on Reality TV?”
“What’s Top Chef about?” he asked.
“It doesn’t matter. What are you doing right now, why are you tired?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll tell you tomorrow. We’ll walk tomorrow.”
I really like Anton. I look up to him, like an older brother. And, like an older brother, I think he could take me or leave me most of the time.
I was thinking a lot about Anton after he hung up on me, so I sat down and wrote a few short stories about him, as he might have done with something he couldn’t stop thinking about. None of them were quite right, though. A story is a story but Anton is Anton. A sand trap is a deathtrap and if a story is a sand trap then its subject is a dead man walking. It’d be better if we never knew anybody. We’d like the stories more, but wouldn’t feel bad when they ended.
So there's that.
Everyone stayed an hour after class to come see the project I photographed for yesterday's podcast. What a bunch of sweeties!
Going to a play tonight.
Oh me oh my oh my god.